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LETTERS: Tribute to a Wallingford firefighter, Ihan Omar

LETTERS: Tribute to a Wallingford firefighter, Ihan Omar

A beautiful tribute


Recently my brother, Robert (Bob) O’Connell passed away. He was a Wallingford fireman for 30 years and retired as a Captain. Our family would like to thank the Wallingford Fire Department for their response to his wake and funeral.

Many stories were told about what a great and honest guy he was. The guys he worked with said he went by the book and they respected him for that.

It was a beautiful tribute to Bob as we drove by the Main Street Firehouse. There were five firemen standing and saluted the hearse as we drove by.

Thank you all, it was truly appreciated.

The O’Connell and Daly Family, Wallingford

A misinterpretation


Just this weekend, I received a pop-up on one of my news feeds to an image that had cross-hairs placed over the face of a member of Congress. This image in and of itself would normally compel me to notify law enforcement of a direct threat to the life of a civil servant. However, the Facebook user’s right to free speech was immediately used to defend this open threat to a member of Congress. This post, full of lies and inaccuracies, did nothing more than to fuel hatred, misinformation, and fear of Muslims and immigrants. The Congresswoman identified in the post, Ilhan Omar, is the first Somali American to be voted into Congress. The post did nothing to talk about valid topics of debate like the BDS movement, DACA, Student Loan Repayments, or Healthcare. The post appears to just smear her name and place a big target over her head. If it was just one rouge Facebook user it would not be an issue. However, the call of this Facebook post went far beyond just a random social media post. It was a call to organize to smear, target, and God knows what else to this US citizen, and congresswoman of African descent. Free speech is one thing, but calls to imminent lawless action are another and We the People of the United States need to understand the distinction. 

Tark Richard Aouadi, Wallingford